We’re often told that social media is making us more divisive, more prone to outrage, more unhappy. It’s easy to forget that through the thickets of arguments an annoyances, social media is ultimately a tool for people to connect with each other. And sometimes, a story comes through that shows the best qualities of social media in all their glory.
Martin Dorey dropped his daughter Maggie off at University for the first time in September – an emotional moment for any parent. However, Maggie’s arrival to her halls in Bristol was especially poignant, as the window overlooked a children’s hospital where she had spent 6 months from birth fighting through leukemia.
After tweeting a picture of Maggie’s arrival, Martin saw a deluge of emotional responses – including one from Charlotte Higby, a nurse who saved Maggie after she went into anaphylactic shock due to her chemotherapy treatment all those years ago.
The touching conversation became even more emotional when Martin revealed that he named his second daughter, Charlotte, after the very same nurse.
I’m not crying, you are…
Though the initial replies to the conversation have been hidden to preserve nurse Charlotte’s privacy, you can read the full story here.
Since the tweet’s popularity, Martin has asked those interested to donate to various charities that aid children with cancer. If you’re interested, you can do so here.
Here’s a fact to impress your friends: The gaming industry is worth more than the music and film industries combined. Current computer games bring immersive, engaging and complex storylines along with powerful social experiences all in glorious high definition, a far cry from clunky 2D gameplay days of yore.
But how can we use these technologies, and more importantly the principles of gaming, to learn and develop? Well, human beings are hard-wired to learn through play. Think back to your childhood – from dress-up to Monopoly, some of the most powerful learning experiences come through games.
You might have heard the term ‘gamifying’ applied to all manner of industries and platforms; its central ideas, built on philosophies of play, are simple:
- It’s all about the story. A good narrative stimulates the creative side for the player.
- Continuous feedback. Let players know how they’re doing. Encouragement goes a long way.
- Reward learners often. This keeps them enticed, and more likely to keep playing.
- Aesthetics matter. The more immersed a player is, the more likely they’ll invest themselves.
- “Gotta catch ’em all!” Let learners unlock badges, new levels or tools to help them on their journey.
- Gradually add complexity to keep things interesting. A feedback loop keeps things fresh while also giving a sense of progression.
Psychologists have studied the many types of human learning in depth. They found that gamified learning has distinct benefits:
- Gamification lessens students’ fear of failure – failure is integral to learning, but in the classroom it can be a source of shame. Gamification is proven to encourage failure and reattempt learning, without embarrassment.
- Gamification makes learning visible – allowing players to stay orientated to their progress and goals.
- Gamification increases motivation – bringing focus on a sense of achievement, social interaction and deep immersion.
- Games are familiar – unless you’re Tom Hanks in Castaway, we’ve all probably played some sort of digital game.
- Gamification can make learning a personal experience – allows learners to take a sense of pride, ownership and identity over their development.
So when you’re next considering how to best tackle a complex task, develop a new set of skills, or even get into teacher mode, why not think about how you might gamify your approach?
PS: At Lunebase, we’re using the principles of gamified learning in our plug-and-play digital campaigns for teams. The learning experiences promote competition, remote social interaction and increase with engagement with a slice of fun on the side. Want to learn more? We’re but an email away!
Sometimes your hobbies can take you far further than you might expect them to.
Anastasia Pagonis is a prime example of how commitment to a leisure activity can take you to incredible new heights, even while overcoming adversity. Though her eyesight started to diminish around age 11, Pagonis continued with her passion of swimming.
At first, she struggled to maintain her usual form, sometimes “struggling to make it across the pool without bumping into a lane”. However, Pagonis maintained a consistent schedule, and by connecting with her coach, Marc Danin, she was able to overcome not only her own hardship, but her competitors.
In fact, Pagonis recently made history at the Paralympics by setting a new world record in the S11 400-meter freestyle at 4 minutes and 54.49 seconds, a full 10 seconds ahead of the second-fastest swimmer.
Equally impressive is the other side of Anastasia’s fame. Before attending the 2021 Paralympics, she was already well known to millions as a TikTok star, answering often mundane questions around her physical disability.
While you may not fancy yourself as a TikTok celebrity, there’s a lot to be said for following your passions through – you never know where they might lead you!
Wellbeing Champions Newsletter
Monthly collection of news, wellbeing updates, lifestyle tips, and feel-good stories - delivered right to your inbox every third Thursday.
☕ Five-minute round-up. 🤐 No-spam ever. 👋 Unsubscribe at any time.